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Best practice for OPT-OUT


People keep asking us what are the best practices to allow subscribers opt-out from weekly or monthly newsletters. Well we put together a list of tendencies people like and dislike. Feel free to comment and add your own opinions.
On what we would like to put accent onto is - it's not about sending emails. It's delivering relevant messages to right people in right context at right time. Nobody wants to get emails. Everyone loves good deals and personal benefits.
Do this!
  • Keep it simple: Use one landing page with your brand name and logo. Keep the space uncluttered so the subscriber focuses in on the preference center.
  • Display the subscriber’s name and email address: Prominently display the subscriber’s name and email address so the subscriber knows the email account from which they are unsubscribing. Many subscribers have multiple email accounts and may confuse one with the other. Tracking it via email headers is made very complicated for regular users, especially in Outlook 12.
  • Direct the subscriber to a "preference center": Offer the subscriber different relevancy and frequency options to encourage them to opt-down instead of opting-out. And first of all, do have these options.
  • Promote the use of social networks: Encourage your subscriber to engage with you through a social network such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Some people value their freedom and feel email too personal. 
  • Ask a question why the subscriber is unsubscribing: Provide 4-5 answers to choose from. This little bit of additional information about why they are unsubscribing can give you important feedback in order to improve the subscriber's experience.
  • Immediately suppress the subscriber: Any additional email sent after OPT-OUT is not recommended. Yet there are various opinions wether to send confirmation email about successful unsubscription or not. We like the concept of giving feedback of every movement subscriber does. In case of hostile subscribers may have negative experiences as well. Having double opt-out process is certainly overkill at this place.
  • Provide a global unsubscribe option: Some senders have multiple email streams with different branding. Allow subscribers the option to unsubscribe from all the email streams at once so there are no misunderstandings from which email streams they unsubscribed.
  • Thank them for their business and provide information to re-subscribe at a later time: No matter what you say or do, some people will unsubscribe. Take the time to thank them for their previous business and provide information on how they can receive your offers in the future.
DON’T do this!
  • Require multiple steps: Asking a subscriber to log-in to their account or to fill out multiple pages of information is not only a bad practice but it is not in compliance with CAN-SPAM. Subscribers are already unsubscribing from your email program and requiring them to invest a lot of time in the process can leave them feeling annoyed. Sadly Amazon is one of the bad examples this time.
  • Ask them to enter their email address: Typing mistakes are very common when a subscriber enters their email address. If the subscriber enters the wrong address and continues to receive email from you, they will either delete your email without reading it or complain.
  • Send to your unsubscribe suppression list 6 months later: Sending to your suppression list is a good way to generate high complaint rates, high unknown user rates and hit spam traps. Sending to your suppression list can hurt your sending reputation and cause email to your engaged subscribers to go to the spam folder.


Add new comment autor, 24.03.2018
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